The Darken Side of the Moon.

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The Darken Side of the Moon.

Post by Mintaka on Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:11 pm

The darkness marred only by the stars and the torchlight that was along the ground at a distance.  The horse nickered nervously, as the pair of footsteps approached the cloaked figure.  There was pair, one short, one husky. The cloaked figure knew they were armed enough to demand things, but they were no bandits.

"ID?" The short one demanded the visitor.

The cloaked figure remained motionless for a moment, before reaching into its robes.  The bulky mercenary reared up, reaching for his side but paused as the other had held up his hand.  Silence in the air grew tense as the various bowstrings that were being pulled back. The cloaked figure continued until something hit the dusty barren ground. A heavy bronze plate, the size of a hand palm, rested below the clearing dust.  On the surface of the plate, there was a relief of a two tailed, two headed beast with its eyes encrusted by shiny blue stones.

The short man walked up and exclaimed the plate, taking out a vial and pouring the contents.  When the liquid shone clear and non-reactive, the man looked at stranger, giving a wolfy grin. "All good. Welcome back to the Den, Ylva." He chuckled as he approached. He held out his hand,  offering to let help the stranger off the horse.

The cloaked stranger looked at the hand for a moment. The strange dismounted, ignoring the offer all together. It pulled away the face wrapping enough to reveal a feminine face, "Don't call me that." Mintaka spoke with a half-snarl.

"But it's quite a honor to earn a nickname from me, after what you did to Faren's hand." The short mercenary laughed, as if recalling that day vividly, "Anyways, we shouldn't delay you. Should I send Brolly to house your mount?"

"Keep it. I'm sure I'm going to get pushed to buy a new one." Mintaka answered. There was no fondness to the horse that brought her here. It was a standard mare that had lost her prime a year ago.  She wouldn't dare bring one of her prime breeds to a place like this. A place that home to any backwater trader that would sell their own kidneys if they could survive having them cut out.

As Mintaka waited, the mercenary opened a pair of hatches in front of her and she descended down the wide stone carved steps into a lit cavern and the large town that existed underneath it. The Den was a bazaar, policed by regularly paid mercenaries, where the various traders from all nationalities from all over sold their goods away from the eyes of government . Currency were exchanged, melted, rearranged in value in ways that would made even a Seraphane merchant. It was also the place that everyone does not know your real name. As a rule by the guild, entry was mostly by membership and members received a name to be called there as well as a emblem.  It was done to protect the sellers and buyer outside of this undertown so no one would use that knowledge to find a leverage like blackmail against a person.  To further protection, the patrons are recommended to cover their faces, but not everyone follows that rule. It's usually people that have nothing to lose, or people that have prove to be too dangerous to attempt such tactics.

The Den existed in the barren unclaimed portion between the Yanni, Seraphane, Thanin, though after a few years of growth made it encroached itself onto Yanni terriority.    Why haven't the Yanni took it for itself? Mostly because having such a black market operating on its own had more benefits. Mintaka used the market to provide goods that normally would have been difficult or problematic with normal trading. There was also the benefit of the market accepting certain items in exchange for any currency found in Illyrium, allowing the Yanni to have buying power in other lands.  It took years to established this symbolic relationship with the Yanni and the Guild, and Mintaka begrudgely took the membership as a sign of goodwill, since she's well within her rights as a Khan send her raiders charging down on the place. Her threat and protection was genuine to the guild, as one bloody bout almost crippled half of the hired guard just to prove her point.

Removing the hood over her head but keeping the face shawl, she mingled into the crowds of the market, with a large bag that she was holding on to since she arrived.  Various shouting came from the unsanctioned arena that was in a lower area of the cavern, where people were shouting their bets. The spectacle made her frown and pushed her to walk on, losing herself to the sounds. There was something she needed to take care of first, of course.


Last edited by Mintaka on Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Darken Side of the Moon.

Post by UncleVanya on Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:50 pm

Kiril found himself sitting at a table on a balcony of a second floor of a tavern overlooking the arena. The Wolf kept busy drawing smoke from his pipe, casting an occasional disinterested gaze at the fighting going on in the ring.

"They're late."

He took a sip from a mug of ale standing in front of him.

"I'll watch one more round, if they're not here by then, I am walking out."

Just as he thought that the door to the balcony opened and two men walked through it. One was extremely short, with crooked feet and thin strips of graying hair growing out of the sides of his head with a large bald spot on top. The other one was tall, long bearded, his face covered in scars more pronounced than Kiril's own, and his skin bore the marks of someone who spent most of his life on the sea. Kiril looked up at his guests as they approached his table and set down.

"You're late."

Kiril spoke with just a hint of annoyance, his eyes looking through the shorter man.

"My apologies, sir Wolf, unfortunately the circumstances had my client delayed."

The one with crooked feet replied in a squeaky, unpleasant voice. After a second he continued.

"And this right here is my client."

He motioned towards his companion.

"Here in the Den his name is Blacktooth....on account of the condition of his teeth I believe....but I digress, now that I've introduced you, perhaps my client can tell you about the gist of the matter."

Kiril looked directly at Blacktooth.

"Why were you late?"

He asked, calmly.

"The Rat just told you, circumstances and such. Whats it to you anyway?""

Blacktooth replied in a hoarse voice.

"Because I much like to know what kind of man I am to do business with. Punctuality is one of the key pillars of professionalism and also a courtesy I freely offer, while expecting the same in return."

"Sod all that, I thoughts yer a stabber for gold, not a damned instructor of etiquette. I was at the whore house if thats so important to yous. Hey, Rat, where in the hells did you find this one?! Are we here to do business or what?!"

Kiril quietly got up and started walking towards the door. The Rat sprung up from his chair and ran in front of him.

"Please, gentlemen, we all already made the effort in coming here, lets at least give it a chance. Sir Blacktooth has a job that requires a certain delicate set of skills, and the reward he is offering is more than appropriate."

The Wolf stared down the tiny man with a piercing gaze, and spoke in his usual monotone.

"I did not seek you out, you came to me. I have other potential clients that are aware that I am in town and have sent me invitations to meet. For a number of years now I find myself in a position there I am able to pick and choose the jobs that I do, and people I do them for. I rather prefer it this way, and with that said, I thank you for the offer but I have to decline. Good day."

He walked past the Rat and exited the door without looking back. As the Wolf left, Blacktooth smashed his fist on the table in anger, toppling over Kiril's mug and spilling its contents all over the floor, the liquid sipping down through the cracks between the planks of the balcony.

"Yer better have someone else for me! What in the hells am I paying for?!"

He barked at the Rat.

"Sir Blacktooth, to speak frankly, for the job you wish done there is no one else. This turn of events is unfortunate, but I expect that he will remain in the Den for the next few days, in which time I will ensure that we will have another occasion to meet once the tempers have cooled."

The man with crooked feet was sweating profusely from his forehead as he spoke.

"How many sodding times do I need to tell yous, I am not a damned Sir, or Your Lordship, or any such horseshit!...Fine, find me once yer have another meeting set up. Oh...and in case yer still wandering, if this whole shitfest ends up a waste of my time...I'll gut you in the middle of this here market myself and ain't no guardsman going to stop me."

Blacktooth got up from his chair and headed for the door.

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Re: The Darken Side of the Moon.

Post by Mintaka on Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:28 am

Mintaka went towards the high rise streets that encircled the arena.  The few, who could not afford actual seating, hanged onto the makeshift railing. They shook their betting slips like talismans and yelling at their man to win.  She passed them just as she heard a dramatic setting of groaning and whining as their bet lost. It was the usual event in the Den and as normal as the collector will eventually come for them to settle their debt.  There was nothing she could have done to resolve their plight.

While she continued along the street, a tug against her back caused her to glare at the potential thief, who ran away in a scuffle. The event made her somewhat relieved that all her holster were custom made so only she would know how to unsheathe any of her weapons. Her axe was not something any boy would be able to carry far without her catching them and giving their hide five new colors.

The Yanni continued her way to the tavern, while casually stepping aside to allow a man exit the tavern before going in herself, passing Blacktooth as she walked up to the bartender.

"So what could I get ya, miss?" The owner looked at the woman's features. " Ylva?"

Mintaka sighed at the name. It was Yanni name in nature but she felt like it was rather uncomfortable being called its translation.  The one time...one time she lost her temper and became excessively ruthless and the Den never let her forget it.

First, do the easy errand. "I'm looking for Prospect. Is he available?"

"Actually h's in the meeting right now. Damn Slashart and his demands. It might take a while...Might even ask you to help with the 'cleaning'."  

"I'm not volunteering. Besides, no point being worried about him if things go array."

"Spits! I'm not gutting about him either! It's me room I'm going to get pissed on." The bartender snorted.

"Another day in the den." Mintaka commented as she left the tavern, carrying the sack still in her cloak. "I'll be back in the few minutes. Going to do some shopping."

"Yeah yeah..." The bartender told her dismissively as she walked towards the door, then took a glance at the lower room below.

The Yanni paused as she stared at the arena. The fighting was, of course, blatant and unsanctioned mockery of the arena bouts in Illyrium. Of course, you find some poor bastard in the arena taking a hangman's gambit to clear his debt, which usually ends with the house winning by a bloody smear. There were nothing honorable or grand like the arena found in Seraphane or even the ritual pit fights that her people carry on at home. Fighting among the Yanni was not meant to be a speculate to be cheered and haggle with.  

Finally repressing her thoughts of disgust, she continued further into the marketplace.

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Re: The Darken Side of the Moon.

Post by UncleVanya on Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:38 pm

"An utter waste of time"

Kiril thought as he left the tavern, and descended into the market. Moving past the stalls he crossed the main trading area and headed for the opposite side, down an alley between two small buildings. At the end of the alley he took a left and found himself in front of the cast iron doors of an otherwise unimpressive shack made of red brick. The Wolf firmly grasped the handle and swung the door open, stepping inside.

He was immediately greeted by an elderly man standing behind the counter. Aside from looking rather rough and weathered, the man's only distinguishing feature was that his left eye-socket was dry and empty.

"Wolf! Great of you to finally stop by! Its been ages!"

The old man sounded both pleased and excited at the appearance of his customer.

"It has...One-Eye...honestly, the names they come up with in this place are ridiculous."

"I don't mind it, I have one eye, so thats what they call me, it fits just fine. Anyway, you must be here to check up on your order....I'll be honest, what we've got here is a masterpiece, it was an absolute pleasure to work on."

One-Eye reached under the counter and pulled out a black leather gauntlet, with a curious looking device attached to the bottom of the part covering the wrist. He laid it out on the counter, Kiril took a step forward to take a closer look.

"Almost breaks my heart parting with it....though I'd imagine you'd get better use out of it then I would, heh! Its just as I've described to you before, there is a spring assisted mechanism in this gauntlet, easy to conceal under a sleeve...you hook this string on your finger and once you pull it, the blade moves forward with enough force to break through a weak spot on an armored plate. Pull it again and it retracts."

As One-eye described the device's operation, Kiril put it on his right hand and followed along with the instruction. The blade sprung out as described, protruding out of the Wolf's wrist.

"Good steel...and these notches near the edge...for easier application of poison I take it."

"You take it just right! All new design that, here, got some throwing knives for you with the same set up."

One-eye unrolled a set of throwing knives strung together on a bandoleer. They all had the same set of notches just as the wrist-blade. Kiril picked one up and tossed it at a wooden beam supporting the roof, it stuck itself up the handle.

"Good weight distribution."

"The best! Otherwise you wouldn't come to me. And last thing, here is your usual set."

One-eye once again reached under the counter, this time pulling out a leather bag.

"Poisons both slow acting and immediate, adrenaline cocktail for then you need to keep your wits about you, Bloodburner for then you need to patch yourself up in a hurry, plus the rest of the usual assortment. Figured you'd be running out by now, so I brewed you some just in case."

Kiril picked up the bandoleer and swung it across his shoulder, then attached the bag to his belt on the side.

"Excellent..."

The Wolf recovered a heavy bag of coin attached to his belt.

"Here is payment, should be enough, tell me if you need more."

"Its enough, I am sure."

"Great, you can expect me to come back in another six months for more of your brews. Now that business is concluded...how the hell have you been, Maxwell?"

Both men continued conversing about mundane matters, pipes were lit and mugs of ale were filled to the brim.

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Re: The Darken Side of the Moon.

Post by Mintaka on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:09 am

After some time later, the door moved open once again. And the Yanni woman had walked into the store. She walked into the store looking at the display of various blades and gadgets. The woman had a strange admiration for innovations people tend to come up with here.

She didn't want to interrupt two men. They seem to know each other quite well, but she did have business with one of them, "One-Eye?"

"Ah, Ylva. I thought you might stopped by. Did you get my request?"

"Yes, and I send it to that usual picnic spot for your lads.  Should be enough for month of stock, but you have to provide your own bottles. I found some extra plants that she sent to challenge you in your cooking. Your friend bets you can't find the use for them." His friend or penpal, was her sister. Her sister is a knowledge herbalist and was happy to find someone with the same passion (though not the same direction), Mintaka had always found herself caught between passing knowledge and challenges between the two in the form of letters, riddles, and sample pieces. Only the gods know how many potions, poisons and other concoctions were invented during their 'games'.

One-Eye gave a crooked smile, "However, I bet you're not here just to be a messager for my cute nemesis."

"Yeah, you said you had some things for me." Mintaka said gingerly. "Well, I have time before my business meeting, but it looks like you're busy..." She was not in a hurry though. What the merchant said during her last visit about turning that metal she showed him into a decent weapon or a pair of kukris, as he called it, peaked her interest.

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Re: The Darken Side of the Moon.

Post by UncleVanya on Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:03 pm

"Nonsense! I was just rehashing war stories with an old friend. Business comes first! I have something for you indeed, and its valuable enough to keep locked up. Excuse me a moment, I'll go fetch it."

One-eye turned around and walked into the backroom, shutting the door behind him. Kiril continued smoking his pipe quietly, then proceeded to intensely stare at the bottom of his empty mug, as if contemplating the meaning of the universe itself.

The storekeeper took a little longer than expected, then finally came out of the backroom looking equal parts angry and concerned.

"They took it! The bastards took it! I'll have them flayed alive in the marketplace for this!"

Kiril looked up from his mug.

"What did they take?"

He asked, in a stern tone.

"Everything in my hidden lockbox...my money stash, the kukris I made recently and..."

"Not the papers."

"Yes, the papers....and yes I know its my failure and the repercussions for you and me....now I can apologize, or we can use that time to discuss how we'll get them back!"

One-eye barked back at Kiril, then looked at the Yanni woman and lowered his voice.

"This concerns you too, Yiva, unfortunately the stolen kukris were yours. I can't replace the metal you gave me, but I can refund its monetary value. Though if you give it a bit of time, my friend Wolf here will get the bastards that did this, and hopefully recover the weapons in the process."

"Priorities, one-eye...."

The shopkeeper turned to face Kiril once again.

"Damn it, Wolf, I haven't known Yiva as long as I've known you, but that doesn't matter, we take care of our people. Same as I've taken care of you before, and you've aided me. Its not like it will be much of a bother for you to carry a couple of blades back here after you're done gutting the bastards!"

Kiril looked at one-eye intensely for a minute, then replied.

"Fine."

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Re: The Darken Side of the Moon.

Post by Mintaka on Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:23 am

"He won't have to concern himself about carrying a pair of blades if I'm coming along to retrieve them and test them on their flesh personally, am I correct?" The Yanni replied at last. Her voice carried a rather dangerous hiss. "You heard me right. I'm going to help."

"Yiva, you---" One-eye looked at Mintaka with shock.

"It's not a request or an idea, One Eye. It's a fact. They stole from you, and they stole from me. . .You cannot suggest I wait here and let someone mettle out my anger for me." Mintaka spoke coldly

The Yanni looked at Kiril, as if sizing him up. After a while, her rage seems to settle. "No offense, friend." She told Kiril. "It's my straightforwardness that I grew up with. If we are not willing to take back what is ours with our own hands and blades, then it's not truly ours. Call it a warrior's pride or whatever."  She spoke more calmly.  Mintaka would not openly admit the sign of a potential fight could kill this boredom around the Den for her.


"You said the bastards took it? It's sounds like you know who."

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Re: The Darken Side of the Moon.

Post by UncleVanya on Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:16 pm

One-Eye scratched his head.

"...I don't know who exactly, but I have a couple of guesses. See, the Den is full of thugs, cut-throats, thieves and the like, outside of this place the lot of them are liable to murder, burn, and steal whatever they can get their hands on but inside this place....its supposed to be safe, a neutral ground, we all might be whore sons but we don't go after our own. There is a simple code for the Den, of which you two are both aware, and enforcement is rather brutal. That means that the Den's regulars, those that made their home here especially are rather unlikely to be suspect. They know there is more value in it for themselves in not fucking with the order of things around here. Every once in a while however we do get some fresh bloods that can't tell their hands from their arse, much less know whats good for them. They are the ones that would get ambitious enough to stir the hornet's nest. There is only a handful of outfits in town that fall into that category, even fewer still that would have the needed amount of skill to steal from me...namely there is Toad and his gang, and then there is Sparrowtail who mostly works alone. If its Toad, this should be easy, he has thirty men under him, wouldn't be too hard to capture one of them and beat on him until his boss's whereabouts fall out....Sparrowtail would be harder, he is also the smarter of the two. Whereas Toad might actually be dumb enough to attempt to fence the goods in town, of which I'll hear immediately, the other one never steals for himself, he takes what his clients want, then delivers it to them in exchange for previously agreed upon amount. Now that I think about it...he is all cold and professional like, kind of like you Wolf, if you were into thieving."

"I haven't been a thief since I turned twelve, its a game for children...which makes me doubt that the kind of man that elects to have it as his profession could be anything like me."

"All the same, perhaps you'll get to meet him yourself and see...which brings me back to my point, in the case of Sparrowtail its best to go after his employers...they're likely to have the goods already, and if not, then you can at least have them lead you to the thief. Regardless...you'll be heading to the "Broken Dagger" tavern in the Fleaquarter District...you're sure to find some Toadies there, perhaps the Toad himself, and among the other denizens there you have the best chance of finding someone to put you on the trail of the Tail's employers....Take all the time you need to get ready, but I'd hurry if I were you...in any case, I need to go in the back and start cleaning up the mess. Best of luck to yous!"

One-Eye turned around and walked into the backroom. Kiril looked at the woman.

"We best get moving."

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Re: The Darken Side of the Moon.

Post by Mintaka on Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:30 am

Mintaka gave a expression-less scrowl at One-Eyed., then nodded. She looked at Kiril, then walked out of the building.

She didn't seem to wait for Kiril as she walked towards the Fleaquarter district. Her face loosen somewhat for a brief moment, and her mood was clearly shown. She was pissed oif, more than what person should be about some knives. Mintaka calmed herself down and slowed her pace enough for the other man to catch up with her.

"...please forgive One-Eye, and me. Unfortunately, you got dragged into a deeper affair. " Mintaka whispered to Kiril, once they were in an area populated enough to drown out the distance of her voice. "He couldn't tell you the truth. Someone was listening in on us."

The last statement felt like unwanted remark. She was certain that Kiril noticed it as well. This man, by first glance, would has probably been more wary every threat around him, calculating them accordingly. It kinda reminded her of the men back home, especially those of the Ranha Trible. They were skill with blades in terms of skill and accuracy rather than more brutish style normally practiced by the Yanni.

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